Always a Booklover

The magic of books just enchants me. I love reading, what more can I say?

The Forbidden Game by L.J. Smith

First Edition: 01 December 1997
Republished: 08 June 2010
Mass Market Paperback: 768 pages
Finished Date: 06 September 2011

Note: This edition is a trilogy that came out as a bind-up a few years after the books were first published.

The Chase: March 1994
The Hunter: May 1994
The Kill: July 1994

Blurb from Goodreads
To lose the game is to lose your life in bestselling author L.J. Smith's THE FORBIDDEN GAME.

To capture the love of Jenny Thorton, Julian--a visitor from a dark world--draws Jenny and her friends into forbidden games; the contest for a human soul. The prize is Jenny's freedom. The stakes are all of their lives. Jenny's friends are determined to help her win. But Julian is the master of the Game. Jenny's most desperate fight will be with him, this eerily handsome boy with electric blue eyes. He knows her deepest secrets, her darkest fears. He has almost infinite power. And the only thing he wants is for Jenny to surrender to him--body and soul.

My Rating

My Review

I’ll give the reviews for each book individually first then later, sum up everything.

The Hunter

I liked this book a lot. I never once found it dry and the Game was absolutely riveting. I must admit though, there were times at the beginning that I got kinda freaked out. I mean, it was just kinda scary about them facing their worst nightmares. I can’t say too much without giving away the plot of the book, but for me, every page I read just got me more and more engrossed in the book. I especially loved the ending. Read it, you’ll know what I mean. It was absolutely ingenious of Jenny, who is the main heroine of the book. And I know Julian, who is the main hero of the book, is evil, but he’s so hot! I can’t explain it though, but I must say, if I were Jenny, I would have chosen to go with him! Ah well, there’s just something about bad guys! : )

Jenny was a very interesting character. I have to say, I didn’t really like her in the beginning. But as I witnessed how she bravely fought on with her friends and how she tried her best to fight Julian, I admired her more and more. I especially loved it when she managed to solve the riddle. I couldn’t believe the answer when it was revealed. It was something so incongruous, something I never even imagined. But after she solved the riddle, I changed my mind about her being an empty-headed bimbo. I have no idea why I thought of her that way, I just did. And as she went along, figuring out the rules of the Game and doing her very best to win it, I admired her more and more. Imagine being there, surrounded by fear and yet somehow managing to figure out so much. To have the courage to stand up to your own worst nightmares. I dunno, to me, it just seems so awesome. I did predict who was the one who probably wouldn’t make it.

The Chase

Omg. I was completely freaked out throughout the book. Literally. I felt like I was right there with them and I was experiencing what they were which completely sucked. The first third of the book wasn’t very good and I felt that it was just a filler. But when the Game started, I was completely hooked. All I can say is wow. It was really scary but then that simply means that the descriptions were so good.

The events that transpired right before the Game were to me the most scary. None of them knew what was happening to them. I won’t say any more, but just know that I was literally cowering in my bed as I read.

My admiration for Jenny also grew. She’s not exactly smart, but she can piece information together pretty quickly. I dunno, I wouldn’t say I love her, but I certainly admire her. Before, I used to like Julian. Now, I think he’s just plain crazy. Insane. Mad. What more do I need to say? Sadistic. Evil. I love it when Jenny beats him at his own Game. It really makes my day when I see him outwitted by her. He fell for tricks twice already and because of that, she won the Game. I’m gonna read the 3rd book now, and let’s see if he falls for her tricks again.

Tom was exceedingly brave. I must say, I didn’t have the best impression of him cos I felt he was rather spineless in a sense. I mean, giving up the girl you love just cos of some supernatural being staking a claim on her? How then can he say he loves her? But when he went to the mountains alone (to do what I shall not say), what I thought about him completely changed. Honestly, that was one of the bravest things to do. And I did feel it proved his love for her. Of course, right at the end, the choice he made to walk with her, though he didn’t truly believe, was the perfect example of his love for her. I mean, he literally walked through fire with her, just so that she wouldn’t have to go alone.

The Kill

One word. Amazing. This book wasn’t as scary as the 2nd. But just for the ending alone, I give this book 5 stars. Ok let me start from the beginning. So it started off well enough, a little bit of scares here and there but nothing really worth mentioning. For me, the main story started when they were in the Shadow World. Now that part was scary. Especially the mine part. I dunno, I can’t explain it but I was just so frightened for them. So when Jenny got separated from the rest and almost died, Julian saved her. Now that part, made me fall in love with Julian. I dunno, before, I felt his love for her was more of an obsession. But because of that scene there, I saw the depth of his love for her. It really touched my heart. And I believed Jen did grow to love him. Perhaps not how she felt for Tom, but a part of her definitely loved him.

So they went on to rescue Tom and Zach. Surprises happen along the way, some are pretty scary, I might add. But another thing that Julian did, just made me love him. He gave Summer back to them. And he did that because he loved her.
But my absolute favourite part came at the ending.

This may be a spoiler

So they managed to rescue Tom and Zach. But of course, they couldn’t escape, due to reasons which I will not say. But what Julian did, just made my heart melt. No matter how much he said he was evil and all, that action of his, just disproved it.

Then came the ending. It was a bittersweet feeling I had after I read it. I loved it yes, but at the same time, I hated it. I hated it cos I felt that it wasn’t a happy ending and I love books with happy endings. But I loved it so much because of what Julian said to Jenny. I won’t say anything about it, but all I know is that I wept after reading that part. I literally sobbed my heart out. It was so amazingly sweet and beautiful. After the book ended, I put it down and screamed at it. I didn’t want that sort of ending, I wanted them to end up together. Why did it have to happen the way it happened?

I really really really wanted Jenny and Julian to get together. She could have changed him, I know she could. Besides, he wasn’t truly evil. To me, Tom isn’t good enough for her. Yes, he’s sweet and all, but he can never compare with Julian. Jenny grew to love Julian in the end, I’m sure of that. And I’m so sure that he was the perfect one for her. What a pity they couldn’t be together.

All in all, I can only say what a good trilogy this was. It brought me on a roller-coaster of emotions. Excitement, fear, happiness, love, and sadness were all portrayed to its very best to me. I couldn’t help but love it. Yet, at the same time, this trilogy was made perfect by the ending. Without that ending, it wouldn’t have been right, but with it, it just made me sad. Still, I felt that the ending was one of the best I’ve ever read. And certainly, it’s the only ending to make me cry so much.

Yes, the plot was rather hard to believe. With all the different worlds and all, I was a bit lost at times. But this was so small it didn't really matter to me. The characters were all awesome and i felt her clique really grew up over time. Yes, I didn't really like most of them at first, but I have to say, as the book progressed, I liked them all after seeing how they matured and faced their fears bravely. Honestly though, I dunno how Jenny resisted Julian for so long or why she even did. Can't she see that he's way better than Tom? However, this does show that she truly loves Tom. Because, to me, to pick Tom over Julian is just plain stupid. But that's just me.

This book is definitely a must-read. I picked it up, not expecting much. In the end, I was brought into a whole new world. Throughout it, I experienced a maelstrom of emotions. Its not everyday I can pick up a book that can make me feel so much. Thus, I can only say this book is simply amazing. And even if you don’t really like the story, just stick through with it for the ending. To me, the ending is worth reading all 3 books just to see it. I read it 3 times continuously. I cried every time. I wiped away my tears, read it again and cried. I can’t explain it, its simply indescribable. All I can say is wow. This is certainly a trilogy that I’ll be reading again. Simply amazing.


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